Enough was enough. Blake's lead had dwindled to only two goals, and with five minutes left in the game Bears coach Sarah Fellows decided it was time to protect that lead.
Blake played keep-away from Lakeville South and held on for a 12-10 quarterfinal victory Tuesday at Chanhassen High School.
Third-seeded Blake (15-2) had a five-goal lead before a rash of penalties enabled Lakeville South (12-5) to score three consecutive goals. Their lead in jeopardy, the Bears were forced to stall.
"We probably started a little sooner than we would have liked, but it was something we needed to do at that time," Fellows said. "Stalling is a hard thing to do. Sometimes we have trouble stalling for one minute. That was probably the best we've ever done."
Twice Blake opened five-goal leads — 6-1 in the first half, 12-7 in the second — only to see Lakeville South rally.
The Bears had their streak of eight consecutive state championship game appearances ended by a loss to Lakeville South in the 2015 semifinals. They weren't about to let history repeat itself.
"They ended our state championship game run last year, so we were kind of out for blood," said junior Emily Johnsrud, who had two goals and two assists, one of three Blake players to total four points.
Prior Lake 16, Blaine 6: For Prior Lake, it was time to take the next step.
The Lakers, making their second consecutive state tournament appearance, had little trouble defeating Blaine, cruising to an 8-2 halftime lead en route to a 10-goal margin of victory.
For the Lakers, the result was just what they had envisioned after losing in the first round one year ago.
"Getting this victory was huge," senior defender Alexa Bloedow said. "We made it through the first round, which was our goal."
The second-seeded Lakers (16-1) spotted Blaine a 1-0 lead, then scored the next six goals. The lead grew to 12-2 in the second half before Prior Lake relaxed.
"We didn't play as well as we could have right away, but that was probably because of the rain delay and getting used to things out here," said Bloedow, a first team All-Metro selection. "But by the end of the game, we were playing our game."
Abby Jones scored all six goals for Blaine (10-7).